The rendering of complex coaches (tasks) in Process Portal applications of IBM Business Process Manager Version 8.0 might be significantly slower with Internet Explorer Version 8.0 compared to other browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Some customers are reporting slow and unsatisfactory performance when using Microsoft Internet Explorer V8 to load coaches as part of their IBM Business Process Manager V7.5.x / V8.x applications.
- Performance degradation has also been observed in human services that contain a Table control Coach View or a Tab control Coach View. The degradation is caused by the capability of the browser to handle Ajax and the related scripting that is required by the controls (IBM Business Process Manager interim fixes are available on Fix Central).
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Resolving The Problem
The first step in improving application performance related to web browsers, regardless of the specific browser being used, is to make sure that you have optimized your web browser and HTTP server settings. Especially for Internet Explorer V8, as well as for Internet Explorer V9, it is recommended that you change to some of the browser default settings, as described in the IBM Business Process Manager V8.0 Performance Tuning and Best Practices redpaper (REDP-4935-00).
Here are some additional recommendations:
- Verify that Internet Explorer V8 or V9 cache settings are specified as "automatic." More detail about the caching mechanism is available in the Caching Improvements in Internet Explorer 9 document on the MSDN blog.
- Verify that the Internet Explorer V8 or V9 cache size is at least 50 MB. In some installations, the cache size might need to be 250 MB.
- Verify the maximum concurrent connections from Internet Explorer V8 or V9 browser to the server. The default is 6. This default value means that only 6 requests to the server can be done concurrently. Using an HTTP request trace tool such as Fiddler or HTTPWatch, you can see that files are downloaded in groups of 6. In a slow or remote network, it helps if the limit is increased, for example, to 10. (This change is done through the registry. For Internet Explorer V8 or V9, the description of how to make this change is described in the AJAX - Connectivity Enhancements in Windows Internet Explorer 8 topic.)
- Verify the HTTP server tuning, as discussed in Section 4.12 of the REDP-4935-00 redpaper.
Additional information on increasing the performance of any specific web browser are available from the vendor website for that specific web browser.
Optionally, to improve coach performance with a web browser, you can do either or both of the following two actions:
Option 1. Upgrade to a more recent browser
Upgrade to a newer browser, such as Internet Explorer V9 or V10, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. All are faster than Internet Explorer V8. The following browser performance reports are available for comparing web browsers capabilities:
- The BIG browser benchmark (January 2013 edition)
- Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 18, Firefox 11, Windows XP (April 2012 edition)
If the corporate IT strategy for an organization is to use Internet Explorer V8 overall, consider making an exception for users of IBM Business Process Manager applications to use a different browser.
Option 2. Optimize coach / coach view implementations
In general, reducing the complexity and functionality of each coach view implementation increases the overall performance no matter what web browser is used. Therefore, from the very beginning of a Business Process Manager project, end-user use cases should be evaluated to provide everything the user is expecting with respect to the GUI, but with minimal overhead. What is not required from a user perspective should not be part of a coach, a coach view, or a coach control implementation.
- When composing a coach, reduce the number of coach view templates and coach view instances used and reduce the number of coach view nesting levels.
- When loading a coach, consider lazy loading of data, which means only retrieving the data that is presented to the user immediately. Reload additional data only if the user requests it.
- In cases where the stock coach views that are provided by IBM Business Process Manager include more functionality than is required by your project, consider creating lightweight controls with a subset of the capability. For example, if you do not require bidi and RTL support in a Text control, create a lightweight version without that capability. Or, instead of using the full sortable/editable Table coach view, create a lightweight custom table control coach view using custom HTML. These approaches reduce the loading times for controls.
- If the Business Process Manager project makes use of the stock controls, especially the table and tab stock controls, consider the following approaches:
- Instead of using the table stock control coach view, use horizontal sections that are arranged to resemble a table grid.
- Instead of using table stock controls, create custom lightweight coach views for individual columns.
- Separate tabbed content onto multiple coaches.
- Install the available interim fixes to increase the performance of the table and tab stock control. Note: These fixes do not help when you use custom stock controls.
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15 June 2018